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Grilled Bone-in Pork Chops Recipe

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the most puzzling questions for someone with diabetes is, “What can I eat?” In your anxiety to stick to eating the “right foods,” you may wonder if pork should be on your menu. It may please you to know that pork is a high-protein food containing large amounts of Vitamin C, D, B1, B 12, calcium, phosphorous, and zinc. Also, the calorie content of pork and chicken is about the same. A hundred-gram serving of pork contains 242 calories, while chicken has 239.

Other notable benefits of pork

Like chicken, pork has very little carbohydrates, however, pork is lower in cholesterol than chicken, and best of all, since the glycemic index of pork is 0, it will not raise your glucose levels. However, avoid bacon, pork with fat, or pork cooked by frying. The recipe below is one of the safest methods of cooking pork.

Grilled Bone-in Pork Chops Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 7-8 minutes
Serves:

Directions:

  1. Combine sea salt, basil, rosemary, thyme, smashed garlic, and Hawaiian black salt in a
    medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. Scrub grill grates with a wire brush and coat lightly with oil or non-stick cooking spray.
    Pre-heat grill to medium.
  3. Rub herb mixture over all sides of pork chops until coated. Place on the pre-heated grill
    and cook for 7-8 minutes, turning once halfway through. Keep the grill lid closed while
    cooking.
    Note: If your chops are thinner or thicker than 1-inch thick, adjust cook time accordingly.
  4. Remove chops from grill and brush off any remaining large chunks of the herb rub.
    Cover loosely and rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Grilling pork is an entirely different experience than grilling red meat. While steaks can be charred on the
outside and a delicious shade of pink or red inside, pork needs to be cooked uniformly throughout. Use a medium
direct heat while grilling pork to achieve these results. Tip: Remove chops from refrigerator 30 minutes before
grilling for best results.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

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The Role of Healthy Eating in Diabetic Self-Care

“The majority of patients with diabetes can significantly reduce the chances of developing long-term complications by improving self-care activities.”

This is a quote from the article The Role of Self-care in Management of Diabetes Mellitus published in the Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders .

This statement should be taken seriously by every individual suffering from diabetes as it holds the key to making their illness manageable. This article focuses on the role of healthy eating as an aspect of diabetic self-care.

Grilled summer vegetables

When someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, one of the first questions he/she may ask is “what can I eat?” Some well-meaning friend or relative may say, “cut out all carbs,” or, “don’t eat meat.” According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), there is no “magic diet” for diabetes. However, the ADA does recommend that you eat more non-starchy vegetables than starchy ones.

Why are carbs so important?

Most of us eat meals that are loaded with starchy carbs. Think of your breakfast foods – toast, bagel, muffins, pancakes — and your lunch —burgers and fries, rice, potatoes, pasta — and you get the picture. Carbs are important because they provide your body with energy. There are three main types of carbs — starches, sugar, and fiber.

Foods containing non-starchy carbs

These are whole, unprocessed, non-starchy vegetables. Lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes and green beans have a lot of fiber and very little carbohydrate, which results in a smaller impact on your blood sugar. If you are using the plate method, this will form the largest division of your plate.

Foods containing starchy carbs

These are your starchy carbohydrates and include whole grain bread, pasta, brown rice, sweet potatoes, corn, pumpkin and plantains; fruits such as apples, blueberries, strawberries, and cantaloupe; and beans and lentils such as black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and green lentils. If you are using the Plate method, these would occupy about a quarter of your plate.

Highly processed carbs

These are the ones the ADA recommends you use sparingly. They are refined, highly processed carbs such as white bread, white rice, cakes, candy, and cookies; sugary drinks, sugary cereal, candy, and chips.

What happens to carbs in your body

When you eat carbs, your body breaks them down into sugar or glucose to be used by your cells for energy. Your pancreas then releases insulin to help your cells convert the sugar into energy, but if your body is not managing your insulin well, then the excess sugar ends up in your bloodstream. High blood sugar is called hyperglycemia; low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia.

How the Diabetes Plate Method helps you control carbs

A registered dietitian can help you plan your meals so that you get a healthy balance of carbs or starches, but if you are not working with a dietitian, you can use the Diabetes Plate Method to help you stick to a reasonable amount of starchy vegetables. The amount of carbs you need is determined by your size and activity level, which we will talk about in the next post.

Remember, there is no magic diet if you are suffering from diabetes. Many times your body will tell you if you have eaten something that was not right for you. By following the Plate Method of healthy eating you should be able to master this aspect of your self-care and be well on your way to controlling your diabetes.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

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Eating Avocados Can Benefit A Type 2 Diabetes Diet

One of the biggest challenges of coping with type 2 diabetes is eating the right foods. Studies have shown that eating avocados can benefit a type 2 diabetes diet by reducing insulin levels after a meal. Read on to see how you can include avocados in your diet and achieve healthy blood sugar levels.

The glycemic response of avocados

Avocados can be used to replace carbs in a diabetes diet to achieve healthy glucose levels.

Avocado is a fruit, but unlike most fruits, it is low in carbohydrates, and therefore does not affect the glycemic response. In other words, eating avocados will not affect your blood sugar levels. In fact, according to Love One Today, replacing carbohydrates with avocados as part of a meal can reduce the glycemic and insulin response. A 2013 study showed that when 26 healthy, overweight adults added one-half of an avocado to a meal, their insulin levels were reduced 30 minutes following the meal. In 2018, another trial of 31 adults showed similar results.

Avocados as a good source of fat

Another major concern for people with type 2 diabetes is the risk of heart disease. Excess body fat and lack of exercise can lead to insulin resistance (the body’s poor use of insulin), which can lead to other health conditions such as heart disease. While avocados contain fat, it is unsaturated fat that helps reduce LDLs (bad cholesterol), which can lead to cardiovascular disease. It also contains fiber, which helps you feel full longer and can therefore aid your weight loss efforts. For people with diabetes, losing weight always helps you achieve lower blood sugar levels.

How to include avocados in your diet

According to Love One Today, researchers found that replacing half a serving daily of margarine, butter, egg, yogurt or processed meat with the same amount of avocado resulted in a 16% – 22% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. However, swapping avocado for foods that also contain unsaturated fats did not produce additional benefits.

Your 5-day meal plan

Eating avocados on a regular basis can help you lower blood sugar levels, lose weight, and reduce your risk of heart disease. If you are unfamiliar with avocados, you may not know how to get started on this delicious fruit. This 5-day meal plan contains 3 meals— breakfast, lunch, and dinner —and a.m and p.m. snacks. This healthy eating plan helps you enjoy tasty and satisfying meals, while increasing your fruit and vegetable intake along with healthy fats and whole grains.

Get your 5-day meal plan by clicking this link.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

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5 Best Sweeteners and Sugar Substitutes For People With Diabetes

One of the hardest things that people with diabetes have to deal with is their diet, especially when it comes to eating sweet or sugary foods. Many people with diabetes turn to artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes in the hope they will not negatively impact their blood glucose.

According to Medical News Today, some sweeteners, such as table sugar, are harmful to people with diabetes, while others are low calorie and do not raise sugar levels. However, according to the American Diabetes Association, even though these low-calorie sweeteners may not cause your blood sugar to spike immediately, they may not help to reduce your blood sugar long- term, therefore it’s best to use low-calorie sweeteners in moderation.

Let’s take a look at 5 best sweeteners and sugar substitutes for people with diabetes.

  1. Stevia. You may have seen this one in your grocery store. It’s a natural sweetener that comes from the leaves of a plant. It is highly processed and is 300 times sweeter than table sugar. It is low-calorie and does not raise blood sugar levels, but it is more expensive than table sugar and it leaves a bitter aftertaste. For this reason, some manufacturers add other sugars and ingredients to improve the taste, thus making Stevia not really suitable for people with diabetes.
  2. Tagatose. This is not regularly seen in stores as it is more expensive than other low-calorie sweeteners. It is found in some fruits such as oranges, pineapples, and apples, however, manufacturers usually extract it from milk and use it in food production as an artificial sweetener. Some studies indicate that tagatose has a low glycemic index, making it beneficial for people with diabetes who are following a low-glycemic diet.
  3. Sucralose. This is commonly seen in stores under the brand name Splenda. It is about 600 times sweeter than table sugar but has few calories. Manufacturers add sucralose to a range of products, from chewing gum to baked goods. Sucralose is widely used for baking and sweetening hot drinks. The FDA has approved sucralose as a general-purpose sweetener, but a 2016 study found that sucralose caused mice to develop malignant tumors.
  4. Aspartame. Widely seen in grocery stores under the brand names Equal and Nutrasweet. It is about 200 times sweeter than table sugar and is used mainly as a tabletop sweetener and not for baking, as it does not hold up well in high temperatures.
  5. Saccharin. This sweetener is seen in your grocery stores under the brand names Sweet Twin, Sweet’N Low, and Necta Sweet. It is 200-700 times sweeter than table sugar and contains zero calories. This sweetener was found to cause bladder cancer in laboratory rats in the 70s, but after many studies, the National Institutes of Health ruled out the potential for causing cancer in humans.

People with diabetes need to be careful about their sugar intake. Low-calorie sweeteners and sugar substitutes can allow you to occasionally enjoy sweet foods, however, the key is moderation. You shouldn’t think that because something is low-calorie you can consume as much as you like. It is always best to consult your doctor or dietitian when making choices about your diet.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

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3 Heart-healthy Breakfasts That Save You Time

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, you know how important it is to have a healthy breakfast every day, one that gives you the right kind of nourishment without putting a strain on your heart. But with the kids heading back to school, you are probably wondering how to make the time to give them and yourself a healthy breakfast with the limited time at your disposal.

The US News Health team suggests some heart-healthy breakfasts that are quick and easy to prepare and will leave everyone feeling satisfied. Below are 3 examples:

Breakfast tacos.

Love tacos but you’ve only had them for lunch? Get some corn tortillas, fill them with black beans, leafy greens, tomatoes, and salsa and you have a delicious and satisfying breakfast.

Blueberry smoothie.

Blueberries can improve your risk of cardiovascular disease by 12% to 15%. To get a jump on your morning preparation, do this:

  • freeze 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries,
  • 1/2 of a peeled banana,
  • and a handful of spinach in a sealed bag overnight.
  • In the morning, blend the ingredients with 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt,
  • 1 tbsp. nut butter and
  • 1/2 cup of milk of your choice. Enjoy!
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Blueberry lemon oatmeal cups

To make blueberry lemon oatmeal cups, whisk together the following ingredients in a bowl:

Image by Sofia Iivarinen from Pixabay
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 1 large egg
  • Lemon juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup milk – plant-based or dairy
  • 1 tsp Flax seed

Bake the mixture in a muffin tin with walnuts and extra blueberries on top. This recipe has been modified to show proportions.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

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Orzo Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Capers

This quick and easy chilled pasta salad is a great way to keep cool on a hot day. This delicious side dish tastes even better after the flavors have a chance to mingle, so make it a day or two in advance to take to your next backyard party or casual gathering.

orzo pasta salad

Orzo is high in carbohydrates but loaded with other nutrients that promote heart health and support digestion. It is usually made from white flour but can be made from whole-grain flour as well.

Tip: The capers and liquid add saltiness to this dish. Taste before adding additional salt.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes (includes time to cook orzo)
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1½ c. orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 T. capers
  • 1 T. caper liquid
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. fresh thyme leaves
    1 T. fresh parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

    Directions:
  1. Add olive oil and minced garlic to a skillet set over medium heat. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic starts to develop some color.
  2. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or just until tomatoes become soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked orzo, capers and liquid, lemon juice, thyme, and parsley with the warm tomato and garlic mixture. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Stir and serve chilled with grilled chicken breasts or your favorite entrée of choice. Enjoy!

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

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Study Finds Intermittent Fasting May Benefit Diabetes Patients

Some time ago, I posted this article on intermittent fasting. In the article, I stated that intermittent fasting has become popular as a weight loss practice as it allows you to reduce calories without limiting what you can eat. As a result, intermittent fasting can help you manage your diabetes.

At a presentation of the American Society of Nutrition, Kelsey Gabel, PhD, RD stated that intermittent fasting might benefit both type 1 and 2 diabetics. It was also stated that people who are obese or who are at the prediabetes stage may benefit. However, Gabel advised that although intermittent fasting may be considered safe for individuals with diabetes, evidence is “still extremely limited” and patients “should closely monitor their blood glucose.”

Types of intermittent fasting

  1. Alternate day fasting – people alternate fast and feast days. On fast days they limit their intake to 500 calories and on feast days they can eat as much as they like.
  2. The 5: 2 diet – people fast 2 days a week.
  3. Time-restricted eating – the most popular form of intermittent fasting. People choose a window for eating, usually between noon and 8 p.m. This is preferred as it allows you to enjoy dinner and other social occasions with family and friends.

Read more about the various forms of intermittent fasting here

A few things to bear in mind

  1. Intermittent fasting is not recommended for children younger than 12 years of age and adults over 70. Also, if you have a history of eating disorder or you are of normal weight, then you should not try intermittent fasting.
  2. The first 3 months is the period with the most weight loss. Monitor supplements closely – Vit. D, B 12, electrolytes and medications for blood pressure, lipids and glucose. As weight loss progresses, medications may need to be adjusted.
  3. Create an eating window that is more convenient. Drink more water during the first two weeks.
  4. If you have to take medications with meals, you should not do intermittent fasting.

As always, before following this or any healthcare advice, please consult your physician. He/she will be able to tell you if intermittent fasting is right for you, or he may be able to point you to the best way of undertaking this type of diet. For more posts like this, please sign up for the newsletter below. You can also follow me on the social media below.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

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Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Sweet peppers or bell peppers are packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and are low in calories. They also contain a healthy dose of iron, folate, and fiber. When combined with meat and cheese, bell peppers can form a satisfying low-calorie meal.

Need a last-minute appetizer? This versatile and delicious recipe comes together in under 20 minutes, but looks and tastes like it took a lot longer.

Tip: The easiest way to prepare the bacon for this recipe is to place it on a large plate lined with paper towels. Cover with additional paper towels and place in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, or just until crispy. Cook time will vary by microwave, so be sure to check after two minutes and adjust accordingly. You can also crisp bacon in your air-fryer.

Get this healthy kitchen gadget now

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Serves: 30 appetizers

Ingredients:

15 mini sweet peppers in assorted colors
6 oz. goat cheese

6 oz. ricotta cheese

3 T. fresh thyme leaves, stems removed
4 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Wash peppers and pat dry. Cut each pepper in half lengthwise, leaving the stem intact. Remove seeds and membranes from each pepper half and discard. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine goat cheese, ricotta cheese, thyme leaves, and bacon. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
  3. Place the top oven rack in the 2nd highest position and pre-heat broiler to high. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  4. With a small spoon, fill each pepper half with the cheese and bacon mixture and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle some of the freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of each pepper half.
  5. Place the baking sheet on the top oven rack and broil for approximately 4-5 minutes or just until the cheese begins to brown and the peppers start to blister. Remove from oven and cool slightly before transferring the peppers to a serving platter. Serve immediately. Enjoy!  

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Friday Foodie: Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

Who doesn’t love chicken wings? Summer is coming to a close, but you may still be able to enjoy the great outdoors with friends for a while yet. If the weather does not permit, you can serve these delicious chicken wings for dinner or at some indoor gathering.

Chicken, as you know, is a great protein food. These wings can be paired with potato salad, green salad and/or other vegetables of your choice. What I love about this recipe is that it’s not fried, like your regular chicken wings, but baked in the oven, making it a low-calorie dish.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. chicken wings, trimmed
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Honey-Mustard Sauce
    2 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 t. hot sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat oven to 425°F.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat™ baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Add chicken wings to baking sheet in a single layer, not touching or overcrowding. Season wings with salt and black pepper, to taste, before placing in the pre-heated oven. Bake until skin is crispy, approximately 45-50 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add garlic and butter to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until garlic softens, approximately 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add honey and Dijon mustard. Stir to combine. Simmer for a few minutes, until honey dissolves completely. Remove from heat and stir in hot sauce, if using. Set aside.
  4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the wings to a large glass bowl. Pour the honey-mustard mixture on top and toss to combine.
  5. Serve immediately or place coated wings on a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and place under a hot broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until brown and bubbly. Enjoy!  

1 serving (with skin) 109 cal (no skin) 37 cal 8g fat (w skin) 1g fat (no skin) 0 carbs

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